Strategies for Making Team Meetings More Productive

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  • 0:03 Team Meetings
  • 0:53 It All Starts with a Plan
  • 1:42 Let's Get Engaged
  • 2:47 Time Is of the Essence
  • 3:17 Keep Control
  • 4:16 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

Team meetings don't always have to be boring and unproductive; it is up to you as the manager to conduct engaging and productive meetings. Learn how in this lesson.

Team Meetings

When most employees hear of a team meeting, they usually start to frown. That is because team meetings, when all employees and managers of a team meet together to discuss certain topics, often lack order and can leave employees feeling as though they've wasted time and gotten nothing accomplished. Sometimes, too, employees leave feeling more confused than when they came in. But this doesn't always have to be the case. You, as the manager, have control over the meeting. You get to decide how the meeting will turn out. It really is up to you to conduct a meeting that is worthwhile, engaging for the employees, and productive. When your meetings are engaging and productive, employees are more inclined to participate and will feel as though the meetings are actually useful.

Let's take a look and find out how to conduct such a meeting.

It All Starts with a Plan

The first step towards a successful team meeting has to do with the way you start your meetings. This usually begins before your meeting ever starts; it begins in the planning stages. You, as the manager, have the responsibility of creating an agenda, or a plan for your meeting. Without this plan, meetings have no clear objective. However, with an agenda, you and your team will know exactly what needs to be accomplished during the meeting. Of course, you can ask for input from your team about what things to add to your agenda. But, finishing the agenda is your responsibility as the meeting is, after all, your meeting.

With an agenda in place, you'll be able to start the meeting by introducing the purpose of the meeting and detailing what needs to be accomplished during the meeting. Your meeting will have an objective.

Let's Get Engaged

The next step deals with how you conduct the meeting. To keep you and your team engaged throughout the meeting, spice things up by doing different things at different meetings. You want your team to be interested in the meeting and to participate. To that end, you can incorporate different activities such as having guest speakers, bringing in food, including everyone in a brainstorming session, or even holding the meeting at a park. You can also use meetings as opportunities to collaborate, as the team will feel more involved if they are allowed to help you solve a problem in a way that benefits everybody.

Also, don't conduct too many meetings. Hold team meetings with only those employees who need to be there and when a team setting is the best way to gather or share information. Sometimes, if you need to share a bit of company news with the team, an email or memo will work just fine. You don't have to call a meeting just to tell everyone that the company's profits have reached an all-time high. An email will work just fine for that information. You can however, gather everyone for a fun celebratory lunch.

Time Is of the Essence

Similarly, meetings should begin and end on time so people don't get frustrated. Just because your employees are at work doesn't mean they don't have their own agenda for the day. Perhaps they are working on a time-sensitive project and have already scheduled themselves to do a particular task after the meeting. If your meeting goes over the allotted time, it can disrupt the day for the employee. To keep meetings from becoming annoying and frustrating, begin and end on time.

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